The brilliantly wacky Russell Birdman Festival is back on July 12 and 13 this year, so grab the kids, your mates - and a raincoat - for some fun family entertainment.
This year the festival is celebrating 14 years of people wearing weird and wonderful costumes and jumping off the Russell wharf in the middle of winter.
The event starts off with the infamous drag race from 4.30pm on Friday, where grown men and women dress in the opposite gender, followed by a beach bonfire and kiwi adventure walk.
Saturday's activities start at 9.30am with a beach dig followed by a host of activities including Corflute boat building, dinghy races, cooking competitions, spaghetti eating and a tug-of-war competition.
There are food stalls, live music and kids' entertainment throughout the day, with the highlight of the festival, the Birdman Jump, at 2pm.
To volunteer as a recycling ambassador with Russell Recyclers phone John on 027 380 5640 or visit the Russell Recyclers Facebook page.
About 130 people packed into Russell's Duke of Marlborough hotel for the Great Northern Debate on July 6.
Spokesman Brad Mercer said the "who's who of everyone in Russell" turned out to the fundraising dinner and debate.
With TV journalist Cameron Bennett as moderator, the capacity crowd heard local personalities and politicians debate whether Aotearoa's capital (which was in Russell for a short time from 1840-1841) should be relocated back in the North again.
Maxine Shortland, Peter Jones and Far North mayor John Carter argued for the affirmative, while Gary Hooson, Antonio Pasquale and Dame Jenny Shipley debated that it shouldn't.
Northland news in brief: Yacht stranded, and meet the candidates event planned
Tourist admits importing 24kg cocaine on cruise ship
At-risk Northlanders can get free flu vaccinations from next week
Hooson's team won by a landslide, Mercer said.
"It seemed half of Russell had gathered at the Duke. It was a brilliant night; everyone had a tremendous time and left feeling very good and happy the capital was staying in Wellington."
Proceeds from the evening will go towards Russell Museum, Te Whare Tāonga O Kororāreka's ambitious rebuild project which is in the last stages of its resource consent application.
Museum staff also found time to organise a new semi-permanent exhibition charting the Bay's long and remarkable maritime history and enduring traditions.
It celebrates early waka, the waka revival, tall ships old and new, regattas, racing and lots of sailing.
It includes the stunning photograph of Waitangi's famous waka, Ngātokimatawhaorua, with its full complement of warriors, captured at night under the glittering arch of the Milky Way.
The exhibition is another Russell Museum contribution to the Tuia 250 First Encounters national commemorations.
Board chairman Terry Greening said curator Kate Martin "has done us proud with this."
"All of our exhibitions are aimed at both locals and visitors, but this really is one the locals will love."
People keen to learn more about the history of the Bay of Islands can join some of the country's leading historians in a one-off Fullers morning cruise of the Bay on August 25.
Led by Dr Manuka Henare of the University of Auckland School of Business and Bill Edwards of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the three-hour cruise will follow in the wake of Captain James Cook's 1769 ground-breaking exploration of the Bay.
The cruise will be the final part of a three-day wānanga (teaching) that will involve some of New Zealand's foremost navigators, archaeologists, tohunga and historians looking at different aspects of the navigational heritage of the Bay of Islands.
"The wānanga is a follow-up to the archaeological excavation at Mangahawea Bay on Moturua Island earlier this year, which generated a lot of interest among the public," Arakite trustee Robert Willoughby said.
Although the wānanga is for invited participants only, opening the cruise to people keen to learn more about the maritime heritage of the area was important, he said.
"Having some of our best scholars on board will certainly make for a very interesting commentary and experience. We will also look into the connection sites with the Bay of Islands have to Polynesian voyaging with support from Ngati Kuta and Patukeha kaumātua, Matu Clendon. Many place names in the Bay have a direct link back to Polynesia which adds another fascinating dimension to the Bay of Islands' rich maritime heritage."
The cost is $100 per adult, and $30 per child which includes morning tea.
Email email@example.com to book.
Free workshops in the Bay of Islands focussing on recycling and how to reduce household rubbish kick off tonight with a public forum Have Your Say on Recycling at Paihia Memorial Hall from 6 to 8pm.
The forum includes a panel of council, community and business experts for those interested in learning how to recycle more, share ideas and decide what the community can do to help.
The events are part of Plastic Free July and also include Reducing our Household Rubbish workshops at the Paihia Community Centre on July 17 from 5.30pm, at Redwoods cafe in Kerikeri on July 21 at 2.30pm, and Riverview School on July 23 at 7pm.
To register your interest visit Paihia Zero Waste Facebook page.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds' school holiday programme has lots on offer to keep the kids engaged this month.
Youngsters can learn about exploration and navigation through fun, creative activities on July 10 and 11.
This year marks 250 years since the first arrival to New Zealand of Captain James Cook.
On July 10 there is At Sea, where kids can get creative with boats and ships art and craft, and on July 11 they can be inspired at Navigation Tools and make a simple compass, find out about magnetism and make a telescope.
The events are free, and children accompanied by a parent or caregiver can pop in anytime between 10am and 1pm. There is no need to register.
Up to 160 people turned out to Our Kerikeri's July 3 public meeting at the Turner Centre.
The community-led action group meeting was to seek feedback on its draft vision which aims to improve the town and unlock its potential.
Our Kerikeri spokeswoman Kirsty Grant said the community provided leaders with valuable feedback on main goals and the overarching vision.
That data will be reviewed, and leaders will meet and see if any tweaks are needed, she said.
"Following that we move into forming a proper entity, putting in place governance which could be a charitable trust or another form.
"Overall, it was great that people felt like they're being heard. Another positive was there was recognition there are already existing groups out there and the role of Our Kerikeri is not to take over but work alongside them."
Hundreds of people turned out to the first meeting called by Kerikeri accountant Annika Dickey as a first step towards setting up a new community group in March.
Common themes included a pedestrian- and bike-friendly town centre, better town planning, after hours medical care, public access to local beaches and an upgrade of Kerikeri Domain.
Grant said they would like to have the vision finalised by the end of July and the governance set up by August or September.
"At the same time, we're looking at funding options and quick wins like events and place making projects…We are very much focused on the positive and looking forward and are happy to work with everybody who's looking to move in a positive direction rather than reflecting on things that drag us down."
Music students busk
Students from Kaeo spent a morning busking to fundraise for a school trip.
The 10 children, from Te Kura o Hato Hohepa in Waitaruke, Kaeo, spent two hours outside Countdown supermarket in Kerikeri on June 19, raising $350.
With the repertoire outlined and in their folders, instruments, signs, stands and chairs packed in a large van, courtesy of Ihaka Lenden, whose two daughters were among the performers, "we were up and away", said music teacher Jane Hillier.
After opening with the much loved waiata Te Aroha a plethora of favourites followed, including Cohen's Hallelujah, George Ezra's Budapest, and Vance Joy's Riptide - with a few solos too.
Apart from having fun playing and singing their musical pieces together the object was to fundraise for their end-of-year camp, as well as making a small donation to Countdown for their Kids' Cancer cause.
The children were delighted with the amount raised and were very excited to be invited to play in a restaurant in Paihia, as well as receiving an unexpected anonymous contribution from a very generous local.
Music at the school is partly funded by the Whakaaro Tahi Community Trust, which was set up in Whangaroa by a teacher at the College, Sharyn van Heerden over a decade ago. As well as helping to fund the tutor, Jane Hillier, the trust supplies instruments; a cello, violins, keyboards, ukuleles and guitars, where needed.
"We would like to acknowledge the huge input from this trust and thank the funders for the opportunity for students to experience how music can and does enrich their lives and aid learning and wellbeing," said Hillier.
The students are now very keen to busk again… soon!
They wish to thank their tutors and teachers including Whaea Pepe for all the encouragement to practise and their principal Whaea Mereana Anderson, said Hillier.
• If you have an upcoming event or a snippet of news you'd like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full contact details.